It was only a couple of months ago we discussed the pothole problem and now it’s back in the mainstream news. The government has pledged to spend £168m on the pothole problem across the country and has split this pot between 148 councils across England and Wales.
The latest count showed over three million potholes in England and Wales and the government hopes this capital will help fix some of thee by March 2015. All the councils which applied for a share of the money will receive a share and extra is also being given to those who are said to ‘demonstrate best practice in highways maintenance’.
Different bodies have had their say on the amount of cash being put towards repairing our roads. The AA are pleased to see something being committed and pledged whilst the Local Government Association argues the contrary, describing the sum as a ‘drop in the ocean.’
The sharing of the fund has been publicly announced with councils in London receiving £10m, which is said to be enough to fix approximately 188,000 potholes. There is also £4.8m being allocated to Cumbria councils and £5.1m to those in North Yorkshire. The money is very tightly controlled and is only to fix the roads and repair potholes to ensure they don’t reappear and are no longer an issue.
Our last blog post looked at the previous capital commitment by the Chancellor to repair roads and potholes in March but this fund is completely separate from that as well. There are concerns these relatively small pots of cash are going to provide very little more than an interim cover up for the pothole problem.
Pothole Accidents and Injuries
Road users and pedestrians who are injured because of potholes can be eligible for compensation provided by the local authority or whoever else may be responsible for the road in question. The Highways Act 1980 places responsibility on local authorities to maintain their public highways and it’s this piece of legislation which can be called upon if a compensation claim is sought.
If a driver or cyclist, with support of their chosen personal injury solicitor can prove that potholes have caused their injury or exacerbated the outcome of an accident, then compensation claims are more than viable.
There is hope that this new fund will limit the number of accidents which are due to potholes but it is a case of time will tell. The new funding injection also comes with close monitoring as the government have asked local authorities to publish monthly updates indicating the number of potholes they have repaired.
Claiming compensation after an accident where the road itself is at fault may sound complex but with a professional personal injury solicitor a case can be fought and maximum compensation can be won.